When considering to hire a VA you should follow these rules:
Do you need a VA?
Take a look at your business activities and note all the low leverage tasks that are repetitive and taking up your time. Mark next to each task on average how long it is taking you to complete. If you can make notes for one week to get an accurate result great, if not measure over one full working day. Now, total the hours worked on each task at the bottom. Are you shocked by this figure? Now you know where your hours are going!
If your total hours is under 2 hours per day, then you could use a Virtual Assistant but at this stage of your business, you can probably manage a little longer solo.
If your total hours per day is more than 2 hours, then hiring a VA is a great ROI and you will reap the rewards of spending more time on growing your business rather than the repetitive tasks you have just listed.
Now you have listed the tasks, you can use this to define what you need your VA to do for you. You will be surprised to find that a VA can do a lot more than you have listed. I have listed here tasks you can delegate to VA's.
How many hours per week will you need a VA?
I would suggest starting at 75% of your total hours per week (refer to the exercise in paragraph one where you calculated the hours spent on low leverage tasks per week). For example, if your total hours came to 20 hours over a 5-day working week, then start on a 15-hour plan. VA's are very efficient, they can do tasks faster and more efficiently, they know what tools to use to get the job done. If you are delegating more tasks to your VA than you initially laid out then you should increase the hours.
Most VA's offer flexibility where you can buy extra time or switch packages at any time. So don't feel pressurised that you have to commit to the hours long term. You pay for 100% productive work and only pay for the hours worked.
VA's can work outside of normal office hours - they are your go-to person to meet your deadlines and deliverables. Check first that they can offer this service if you were ever to need it.
What is the going rate for a Virtual Assistant?
VA's pay scale varies depending on their experience, whether they offer support in a niche area and what part of the country they are located.
Please remember you get what you pay for. There are attractive low rates online, but you may find that the work produced has not been followed/understood and the quality of work is not adequate. This may not be the case all the times but you should be aware so you can consider all options.
In efforts to avoid this happening, I would suggest asking for recommendations to ensure you are in safe hands. A lot of VA's have been Personal Assistants and Executive Assistants for at least 5 years before going virtual so they will be able to offer you that reassurance. Here is an example of what you should expect.
It is crucial to give clear communication with your VA by emails, text, calls, Skype, FaceTime whichever works best for you. When delegating tasks, give a clear and concise direction as to what you need and the deadline to avoid back and forth communication. Eventually, your VA will know you like the back of your hand, so in time they will be able to complete tasks knowing your preferences and your work style. For example sending an email asking to book a car service for Friday's meeting. This doesn't give the VA clear direction especially when you have several meetings in the diary! Instead, you should write:
I need a car service for Friday this week, pick up at 3pm from my 1pm meeting (appointment in the diary) going to book launch event. It needs to be an executive car. Please pay using my AMEX card. No need to book onward journey.
Now, this task can be completed in under 5 minutes rather than having to wait for your response to questions which could take a day if you are busy.
What do you want to achieve?
Set goals and deadlines to track efficiency. It's important to outline from day one your expectations are so that you are both on the same page and have a clear vision of what you want your VA to accomplish.
Most of all enjoy having a VA work with you, you will soon ask yourself why you didn't get one sooner! Set yourself up for great success by building a great team.
Do you already have a VA, I would like to know your story and if it has helped you? Comment below.
My name is Selina Johnson and I provide Virtual Business Support to small to medium businesses, consultants and entrepreneurs. My clients outsource necessary but time-consuming tasks to me so they can have more free time to focus on the revenue-generating activities that will make their business more profitable.
Message me right now to discuss how I can help you.
+44 (0)1234 602596
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